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Danny Shelton taking pride in leading Browns' charge to stop the run

As the Browns' big man in the middle, nose tackle Danny Shelton takes extra pride in stopping the run. And with a trip to Tennessee and the league's second-best rushing attack looming, the 2015 first-round draft pick isn't flinching.

"It's my money-maker game, man. My job is to stop the run so it's a great opportunity for me to be able to do what I do best and stop the run," he said Thursday.

"We're really focused on doing that, wrapping up, taking the ball carrier down, creating turnovers, and creating turnovers and giving opportunities for the offense so I think it's going to be a fun game."

That approach should serve Cleveland well against a Titans run game that averages more than 145 yards per game. Leading the charge for Tennessee are running backs DeMarco Murray and rookie Derrick Henry.

In particular, Murray — who's considered one of the league's better backs when healthy and rushed for more than 1,800 yards with Dallas in 2014 — has been a headache for opposing defenses, running for 461 yards and three touchdowns through five games.

The Browns have taken notice.

"He's back to being DeMarco Murray when he was at Dallas," outside linebacker Christian Kirksey said. "We've got to make sure we play fundamentally sound and attack the line of scrimmage."

"He's the player he's always been I feel like, a guy that's not afraid to run the ball. But I think the one thing that's different for him this year is he's running with more attitude," Shelton said, "and so when you go up against a guy like that you want to make sure you secure each gap, have perfect technique and making sure you're wrapping up on him because he's not a guy that's going to go down easy."

Indeed, the Browns are focused on the finer points of stopping opposing run games after highs and lows through the first month of the season. They rank 20th against the run, giving up a little more than 114 yards a game.

"I think we took some strides. I think we are improving in certain areas. Now we just really have to make sure we hone in on our small details, whether it is missed tackles or not setting the edge or not being in the right gap," Kirksey said. "So we just have to pay more attention to the small details and fix those and I think we will be fine, and I think we will make a lot of strides."

Shelton, who's taken on something of the onus when it comes to leading that charge, was direct when asked about the challenge awaiting in Nashville.

"I have to stop the run," he said. "Any time we give up a certain amount of rushing yards a game, it can be tough for me as far as my mindset.

"I want to be the guy that takes all of that blame," he continued. "It makes me want to be prepared to come back and prove we can be one of the top run defenses."

The Browns will have a chance to gauge that Sunday. ​

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